Category Archives: Italy

European City Breaks with Babies Part Two, N-Z

When we were just a Wandermust Couple, Wandermust Daddy and I loved a city break. I’ve lost count on how many we went on so we were determine to continue when we had children but is it possible to still enjoy a city break with babies?

From our own experience we have found the answer to be undoubtedly yes and as we have looked into it more we have discovered that there are loads of young families out there to inspire you with tales from cities. This round-up features contributes from some of my favourite family travel bloggers telling you about their favourite city breaks they’ve done in Europe with a baby with top tips and advice so you can go to!

PALMA, SPAIN, BY WANDERMUST FAMILY

Here’s what Wandermust Mummy has to say about visiting Palma with a six month old:

At Palma Cathedral

Continue reading European City Breaks with Babies Part Two, N-Z

City Breaks with Babies in Europe, A-M

When we were just a Wandermust Couple, Wandermust Daddy and I loved a city break. I’ve lost count on how many we went on so we were determine to continue when we had children but is it possible to still enjoy a city break with babies?

From our own experience we have found the answer to be undoubtedly yes and as we have looked into it more we have discovered that there are loads of young families out there to inspire you with tales from cities. This round-up features contributes from some of my favourite family travel bloggers telling you about their favourite city breaks they’ve done in Europe with a baby with top tips and advice so you can go to!

ATHENS, GREECE BY NECTARIOS AT CITYKILKS 


Athens is an amazing city for families to visit. When my wife and I visited with our 9 month old son we took in as many sites as we could, including the Acropolis, Syntagma Square, Plaka and Monastiraki (shopping). Some other notable places we visited were the Olympic Stadium, Lykabettos (the hill opposite the Acropolis) the Acropolis Museum, and the gardens behind Parliament. All of these places are easy to get to by public transportation, which despite Athens’ street network, is super easy to use. The Metro especially is incredibly easy to ride and can take you pretty much anywhere. If you leave the city center, things can get a little more challenging using a stroller but a well planned excursion can save you the hassle. It’s doable.

The nightlife is also very family friendly in Athens. In fact, I recommend staying out late with your child. People watching is a past time in Greece and kids love it. You’ll see plenty of Greeks and their children out and about as late as 12 am and beyond, enjoying breezy warm evenings and nights in the company of friends in local squares and dining outdoors at taverns. The music is also fantastic and really puts you in the mood.

All in all, Athens is simply unforgettable culture, unforgettable people and lots of fun. You can read more Citykliks travels in Athens (and other travels and topics) here. Also, you can follow on Twitter and Facebook

BARCELONA, SPAIN BY WANDERMUST MUMMY FROM WANDERMUSTFAMILY

We went to Barcelona at the end of a cruise for a long weekend with our six month old baby.

Wandermust Family in Barcelona

Continue reading City Breaks with Babies in Europe, A-M

5 best cruise ports for architecture 

We at Wandermust family love cruising, everything from convenience of onboard food to simply watching the sea go by. But our favourite thing about cruising has to be the ports. This list is for all you architecture lovers out there – from all of our adventures by cruise these are what we think are the top five ports for seeing different architecture

Santorini

There isn’t a Greek yoghurt pot in the world that doesn’t have a picture of santorini of. The island is home to the archetypal white buildings with blue domes. The beautiful town of oia is not to be missed.

Archetypal Greek architecture
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Masseria Il Frantoio – my best foodie experience!

Have you ever had a meal that you got so swept up in that you forget that perhaps pictures for your blog might have been a good idea? Well that is exactly what happened to be when we went to Masseria Il Frantoio.

We had travelled to Ostuni, Puglia with my in-laws for their Ruby wedding anniversary. As with all holidays I take, the first thing I do once we have booked is look for amazing foodie options nearby. As this was such a special anniversary this made this finding somewhere nice even more important and that is how I came to stumble on the website of the Masseria Il Frantoio.

Now in my opinion, Puglia is perhaps the most underrated part of Italy and this extends to people’s knowledge of its food and drink. People may have tried the signature local pasta called Orchiette but even then its not that common a fixture on menus. Also, it is quite a difficult pasta to cook so I bet most of those who have had it, weren’t that keen.

Now the Masseria specialises in local Puglian cuisine using fresh local ingredients. The Masseria also manufactures several varieties of olive oil, which is the only oil used in the cooking here. Before dinner we were given a tour of the olive press and grounds of the Masseria (also a hotel) which were absolutely stunning and got you salivating for dinner and added to the theatre of the evening.

The Beautiful On Site Chapel
The Beautiful On Site Chapel
The historic olive oil press
The historic olive oil press
Usually dinner takes place on the terrace of the Masseria, but unfortunately for us there were strong winds on the day we visited which made this impossible. The inside however still provided a lovely atmosphere.

The beautiful terrace where you eat when the weather is nice
The beautiful terrace where you eat when the weather is nice
Now the interesting thing about the Menu at the Masseria is you don’t know what you are having until you arrive and you eat what you are given. I love menus like this as it means that you try things that you would never normally dream of. We had Fried bread with a tomato sauce, fried courgette flowers, the most delicious swordfish I have ever tasted and desert accompanied by an olive oil shot to name but a few.

The dinner was also paired with three wines from the local area which were all lovely. The best however was the Rose, which is unusual for me to say as I am not usually a Rose fan. I mentioned this to our waitress and suddenly more of it appeared on a table. Maybe the wine also had something to do with the lack of pictures of the food!

Did I mention that there was wine?!
Did I mention that there was wine?!
The dinner cost 60 Euros for I forget how many courses and wine which in my opinion was a steal! It was definitely the most authentic Italian foodie experience I have ever had and I can’t wait to go back and actually get some pictures of the food this time!

This post was part of the #TravelLinkup

Borghese Gardens: Finding Peace in Central Rome

I love Rome. It’s architecture, history, culture, food even its’ chaotic traffic evokes a real sense of place however sometimes its nice to escape to tranquility, especially now we have a baby and that’s where Villa Borghese Gardens comes into it! The Gardens are in the trendy Via Veneto area and are located close to the Spanish Steps. I don’t know about you but after a visit to the Spanish Steps I always need to time to recharge my batteries and escape the crowds so really the Gardens are a perfect tonic! Alternatively if you want to avoid the Spanish Steps there is an easy entrance on Via Veneto.

The Park
The Park
The Gardens are Rome’s third largest public park and along with being a beautifully landscaped garden it also has a number of buildings and museums, the main attraction of these being Galleria Borghese, the Museum of Modern Art and the Globe Theatre. Tickets for gallery entrance must be pre booked and are time limited. However, if you don’t manage to get tickets there are plenty of sculptures to keep any art fan amused.

Art in the Park
Art in the Park
The Piazza di Siena, close to the Via Veneto entrance, hosted the equestrian events during the 1960 Rome Olympics and is a perfect place to go for a run.

Piazza di Siena
Piazza di Siena
The Gardens also offer some great viewing platforms to take in some great and interesting perspectives of Rome such as that at Piazza Napoleone.

In the centre of the gardens is a beautiful lake overlooked by the stunning Temple of Aesculapius. The lake in front can be boated in good weather, but on our last trip we weren’t lucky enough to do this! But I am sure when we return when Baby E is a bit older this is something we will definitely do!

Temple and Boating Lake
Temple and Boating Lake
It is also one of the best places for families in Rome. It is easily accessible with a pram, there are large open spaces and plenty of playgrounds for children and lots of lovely shaded areas to sit and relax if you are there in the summer heat.

In my opinion every great city has a great park and for me Villa Borghese is Rome’s great park!

Things to remember:

  • There are several restaurants within the Gardens or alternatively take a picnic
  • Tickets to go into Galleria Borghese must be booked in advance
  • Prams and bags of any description are not allowed inside the gallery.

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Essential guide for visiting Rome with a Baby

I don’t know about you but when I use to book a city break I would get straight onto google – best restaurants, best things to do etc. Now we have a baby however our search terms have changed substantially … where can we buy x, is y available and what I found is that it is hard to find all the information in one place. That’s where I hope to come in!  So this will become a regular feature telling where you can buy essentials, details about changing facilities and accessibility of various locations and anything else that would be on use to parents – so first up everything you need to know about taking a baby to Rome.

Rome is a great city for families
Rome is a great city for families
Continue reading Essential guide for visiting Rome with a Baby

Top Reasons Why Rome is a Perfect City Break for Families

We recently spent some time in the beautiful Rome. Rome stole my heart when we first visited ten years ago so I was really keen to take Baby E to visit our favourite city and wondered whether we would have such a good time as parents. but really Rome is the perfect city break for parents with small children. Here’s why:

FOOD

Depending on what stage of the weaning process you are in, the food in Rome can be very child friendly. Who doesn’t love Italian food?! Pizza, pasta and gelato need I say more.

ACCOMODATION

There are lots of family friendly accommodations from AirBNB to luxury high end hotels. We chose to stay at the Westin Excelsior, (you can read a full review here), a 5* hotel on the lovely Via Veneto which was absolutely great for a family travelling with a baby. The rooms were big (I’ll admit we way overpacked so needed a large room) and the staff were very accommodating with the Baby.

Baby E enjoying the super comfortable bed at Westin Excelsior
Baby E enjoying the super comfortable bed at Westin Excelsior

 

ACCESSIBILITY

Many people say it is impossible to do Rome with a stroller. I am sure in some places such as the colosseum and Metro this is true. But if you are anything like us and enjoy walking, Rome is actually a very easy place to get around with a pram or stroller. We managed to visit the Vatican, Colosseum, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain all in one day walking with a stroller.

We found Rome very stroller friendly
PIAZZAS 

Many of the Piazzas are pedestrianised which means that you aren’t worried about safety. It also means that if your child is at the toddling stage, there are plenty of safe places to give them a run around in the city. Most also have a fountain, a Bernini one if your lucky ! It’s also a great place for weary parents as most Piazzas are filled with restaurants and bars to sit and rest your tired toes!


THE PARKS

For me all great cities have at least one great park. In Rome this is Villa Borghese Gardens (you can read a full review here). It is filled with plenty of places for kids to run around, suitable playgrounds and even a small boating lake. There is also plenty of shade if you need to escape the summer sun.

But for me the top reason to visit Rome is …

THE PEOPLE 

I know its a cliché but Italians really love babies! There was no where we didn’t feel welcome. From small cafes to 5* hotels Baby E was literally welcomed with open arms. Waiters would keep  her amused which gave us the rare chance to eat a meal somewhat together and helped with any request. Everywhere we went our Principessa or our Bella Bambino was showered with attention and love. It was like going on holiday with a celebrity. Baby E loved the attention and we loved the welcoming family atmosphere.

For me Italy really is one of the best places to take a baby on holiday. If you would like further advice on travelling to Rome with a little one take a look at our Essential Information Guide for Travelling to Rome with a Baby! (Coming Soon)

If you enjoyed this post you may enjoy our practical guide for parents visiting Rome including top tips about where to buy baby products, changing facilities and getting around in Rome.

 

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Luxury Hotel Review: Westin Excelsior, Rome

I love modern and chic hotels but sometimes I want a hotel with a real sense of place that connects with the history of the city. That’s when I was looking to book a hotel for our couple of night stay in Rome I decided on the Westin Excelsior.

The hotel was purpose-built in 1906. From the outside it screams baroque style opulence. Located on the trendy Via Veneto one wouldn’t expect anything less than luxury and opulence!

So did it live up to expectation?

Continue reading Luxury Hotel Review: Westin Excelsior, Rome

Top five ports for archaeology 

Whenever I look at booking a cruise I always look at the destinations first and foremost. Being a history geek, history and culture feature highly on my priorities so here are my top five ports for archaeology

Kusadesi 

A short 40 minute drive from Kusadesi is my favourite archaeological site, Ephesus. Ephesus recently became a world heritage site – about time! and is one of the most complete digs I have ever seen! There are many intact buildings on the site including houses with amazing murals but perhaps the most stunning is the library of Celsus who couldn’t help but be impressed!

library of celsus
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48 hours in Puglia, a photo itinerary

We love Puglia! It is one of the undiscovered gems of Italy that still isn’t swarming with tourists.

We usually stay in Ostuni as it is central and a great hopping off point to the rest of the area. It is also stunningly beautiful in its own rights. It is known as the white city and I will never forget out first evening drive towards the city. It was breathtaking. Unfortunately I was driving so couldn’t take a picture.

It is however beautiful by day too. The cathedral and churches of the city are lovely and the city walls worth walking.

ostuni town square wedding

Continue reading 48 hours in Puglia, a photo itinerary